Bruno was born around 1030. This founder of the Carthusian order of monks was at first not a hermit at all. For eighteen years he was a professor of theology in his own country of France. He tried his best to bring his students closer to God. Then he was given an important position in the diocese of Rheims.
But Bruno was not impressed with the honors or frightened by responsibilities. He became aware that his heart was longing to be alone with Jesus. St. Hugh of Grenoble gave Bruno and his friends a hidden desert land called Chartreuse. There they built a church and little huts to live in. This was the beginning of the Carthusian order. They were very happy there, working their fields, fasting and praying, hidden in God.
After six years, however, Pope Urban II, one of Bruno's former students, required a great sacrifice of him. He asked him to go to Rome to be his advisor. It broke the saint's heart, but he obeyed. He left one of the monks in charge at Chartreuse. Bruno served Pope Urban II well. Then finally he was allowed to live his monk's life nearer to Rome. So with new disciples, Bruno began all over again in Calabria, Italy.
As we know by his letters, St. Bruno was always a cheerful, active man. He did not want to see any of his monks sad. He describes their hard life in delightful expressions. Bruno urged a close friend to come see for himself.
St. Bruno died in 1101. His order continues today. It is the only religious order in the Church that has never had to be reformed. The followers of St. Bruno keep his loving, self-sacrificing spirit alive.
A special love of silence characterized the life of St. Bruno. How often do I take a few prayerful moments in quiet during the day?